When it came to the business world, most of the talk in 2011 was all about how doomed we all were. Every week there were stories of how the economy was down and nobody was hiring and how much work it would take to get things back to normal.
Ecommerce sellers, however, either didn’t hear this news or chose to ignore it altogether. Their year, especially towards the end during the holidays, was better than ever. While brick and mortar shops struggled, online retailers grew and were able to hire new employees.
The big season for ecommerce was naturally the holidays. While big numbers were predicted, some felt the empty pockets of shoppers would hurt the bottom line of many stores. But that was ultimately proven incorrect as ecommerce had a stellar holiday season.
In fact, looking at the numbers, you’d be forgiven if you felt like there was no economic slump at all. On Black Friday alone, ecommerce retailers made over $816 million, a rise of 26% from 2010. Cyber Monday, swiftly becoming the biggest day of the year for ecommerce sellers, experienced a 22% increase to just over $1.25 billion!
Even Thanksgiving Day saw a big change, with online shoppers spending over $475 million to bring the totals up by 18%. Clearly there was a big shift in holiday spending – easy to speculate on, but no solid answers exactly what caused it. One big possibility? People are just plain tired of fighting holiday crowds and would rather stay home or in the office and shop in comfort.
Towards the beginning of 2011, it was projected that US ecommerce would be a $279 billion a year venture by 2015. Part of that growth was 2011 itself, which included ecommerce making just under $200 billion.
And that’s just the United States! Online commerce throughout the world is expected by JP Morgan to reach over $960 billion by 2013. That’s a lot of dough, and may be totally independent of the economic status of the rest of the world. It’s almost like ecommerce is independent of the economy, and it’s worrying to think where we’d be if online selling wasn’t as big as it is.
This also includes the job market. Not only were online sellers bringing on new talent last year, 2012 looks to be even brighter. The more these online shops grow, the more employees they’ll need in web development, customer service, shipping, and other areas.
And these jobs aren’t just coming from online only sellers. The bigger ecommerce gets, the more the larger retailers like Wal-Mart and Target will have to put into that sector. This is especially true when the holidays come back around – holiday hiring will probably go up the crazier ecommerce selling in winter gets!